2020 started off very well, we continued our regular services plus we recruited a new volunteer (Brian) who gave one to one tuition to older people who had smart phones or tablets.
We were planning a 3-day mid-week break to Cork in May and were in the process of collecting prizes, organising our coffee morning and Easter raffle in April, when everything changed on Monday March 16th our first lockdown of the year was announced
We completely stopped the crochet classes, the tablet/smart phone classes and Failte Isteach classes.
The “Good Morning Drogheda” phone calls continued 3 days a week by all volunteers making the calls from their own homes. This took a lot of organising and it was very important we received feedback if people had issues or needed help. Congratulations to Paulette & Geraldine for organising this.
As befriending also had to stop most of these clients were transferred to the Good Morning call service.
The office was closed to visitors but continued to be manned by Dave and Ann on Mondays, Tuesday, Wednesdays, and Fridays with Paulette and Geraldine working from home on Monday, Wednesday & Friday. This continued for the rest of the year.
Although the Care & Repair programme had mostly stopped, we were still able to help people who had urgent problems such as boiler failures or radiators not working. By year end we had still conducted 216 jobs
In the first 2 weeks of lockdown, we had twenty-four people volunteering to help with anything that was needed, some had cars, some didn’t. We used only ten of these volunteers mostly for shopping or collecting pensions.
As older people were told to cocoon the Distribution Centre decided to make home deliveries to everyone free of charge for our 450 customers. This was a huge organisational and logistics undertaking with volunteers spending hours phoning, sorting, packing and labelling orders. The Drogheda River Rescue and Recovery Services helped with deliveries once week, using their vans, jeeps, and volunteers. The help they gave plus additional volunteers making deliveries in their own cars as well as using our own van made these four months a very busy and immensely satisfying experience.
We started talks with the HSE regarding us being the warehouse and distribution centre for some of their medical disability aids.
Funding- We successfully applied the POBAL for their Covid Stability Scheme, we also receive some funding from Louth Leader Partnership.
New Tri Shaw. The Lions club bought us a new Tri Shaw, this was customised with their own Logo, we had the full publicity launch in July 2020. Throughout the pandemic we did manage some Tri Shaw rides in the summer months. We introduced a very stringent Covid cleaning process between rides and of course wearing of masks.
Panic Buttons, we organised 101 panic buttons for people similar to last year Good Morning Calls, increase to 156 clients an increase of 80% from 2019.
Due to the Pandemic we were unable to run any fundraising events in 2020.